Hop on, Hop off the train

Today is Saturday and our last day here in Fuengirola. It has been really wonderful to have had some full days of rest and others where we have had interesting times spent discovering the history and development of some ancient towns of Southern Spain.

The weather was generally beautiful except for a little misty rain on one or two days. Today, the weather was absolutely perfect for what we chose to do.

I thought that we were going to have a quiet day tidying and packing to be ready to leave at 09:00 tomorrow morning for the bus and train to Madrid but Trevor had a wonderful idea. As we had a rail pass he suggested that we use the Locale train in the same way as the hop on, hop off bus and explore some of the little towns that we had passed each time we travelled between Fuengirola and Malaga. It turned out to be a really fun and interesting thing to do.

What we found in one of the towns makes one wonder why it is not mentioned anywhere in the marketing literature. But I will not get ahead of myself but will take them each in turn. Once in Fuengirola we decided to first do a bit of a look around this town as, up until now, we had stepped off the bus, crossed the road and gone down the escalator to the train. We walked for about an hour and found some beautiful statues, fountains, churches and other buildings.

The Virgen del Rosario churchThe Virgen del Rosario

Obelisk fountainObelisk fountain in downtown Fuengirola

From there we went down to the train and decided to make our first stop at the first town where we could see the beach from the train and this turned out to be Carvajal. The beach was just a 10 minute walk from, the station but there was one hurdle to overcome – 72 steps or a very long walk around by road. We went down the steps and discovered a most beautiful scene. The Mediterranean Sea was like glass and a glorious blue. There were a number of yachts on the bay and we were able to watch some of them fishing. Don’t know if they had any success. We sat on the beach wall to have our lunch. It seems as if most of the towns along the Costa del Sol have a beach wall at just the right height and depth for sitting comfortably to eat and watch the various activities.

          Fuengirola bay of Carvajal

Part of the beautiful beach of Carvajal

We returned to the station and hopped on to the next train and hopped off at Montema Alta and it was here that we found a real gem. We wondered why it was not mentioned anywhere in the holiday literature of the area. We crossed the bridge over the railway and walked a short distance downhill to see before us a truly beautiful park. It was the “Parque de Bateria” filled with fountains, a large clean pond with boats for youngsters, exercise equipment which may only be used by Senior citizens and a wonderful cycle track which, from what we could see, covers the full park area. At the far end of the park, close to the sea was a tower which, not only had stairs up to the roof, but also, a lift. The views from the top of the tower were breath-taking with a 360deg view of the town, sea and mountain which formed a beautiful backdrop. 

Park in Montema Alta Entrance to the Parque de Bateria

Bridge fountain in boat pondBeautiful model boat pond

Bench in the parkBeautiful sculpted bench in the park

Mirador TowerThe Mirador Viewing Tower in the park

From the park we walked back across the bridge over the railway into the town where we had something to drink before going back to the station. There were a couple of fascinating decorations left over from Christmas/

Christmas Tree in townA metal Christmas Tree

Butterfly decoration in townA butterfly decoration 

We left the town and its park amazed that there was no mention of it anywhere and yet it could really bring tourists and thus build the town’s economy. The next town which, from the train looked worth a visit was Ben Aldameda but it was a real let down. It was dirty, there were no attractions nor directions to the beach or anywhere else. We could not believe the difference between Montema Alta and Ben Aldameda. A very disappointing end to what had been a beautiful and interesting day. Excellent method to get good use from one’s rail pass too. The whole day had cost us just under €7 to travel and see so much.

I chose the option of checking out this afternoon instead of in the morning as we had to be at the bus stop by 09:30. I arrived at the Reception to find 2 men on duty, 1 typing on his computer and theother  on the phone. I waited more than 3 mins to be acknowledged and when the ‘typist’ had finished he looked up at me. I suggested that maybe even a glance in my direction would have been polite and he said that he had to finish what he was typing or he would forget the message. I do have to admit that he did apologise and agree that he should have acknowledged me and he thanked me for the comment.

Tomorrow means back on the speed train and off to Madrid.

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About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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